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16 November 2014 @ 09:55 am
Flatline  
This was the first time I saw the kind of shape Moffat was trying to carve for Clara's character. I'm not sure it was for the season as such, having now seen the finale, but I think he's very clearly trying to set her up as someone who becomes like the Doctor, rather than someone who is inspired by the Doctor.

I know this, because the dialogue distinguished very clearly between being good and being a good Doctor. Previous companions who have been inspired to great things by the Doctor have lacked his propensity for darkness, be it the manipulation of the seventh or the tendency to vengeance of the tenth. New Who has liked to present contact with the Doctor in a positive light - particularly wrt. Sarah Jane, Rose, and Donna. Their exposure makes them better so I think it is an interesting idea to explore the concept of a companion becoming like the Doctor while not become better as a result.

Only, umm, precisely what did Clara do in Flatline that was particularly reminiscent of the darker sides of the Doctor's nature? Perhaps it was supposed to be that she was motivated more by the thrill of the adventure than by a genuine desire to help.

So, I like the idea, I'm not sure that this was the place in the story in which to put that marker down.

Other than that I liked lots about Flatline. The monsters and their effects looked good (not something that can always be said for Doctor Who). The sight gags involving the tiny Doctor in the tiny Tardis were funny. There was an interesting sf-ish idea underlying the story but it wasn't allowed to take over. My second favourite episode of the season.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/132835.html.
 
 
 
reggietate: the doctorreggietate on November 16th, 2014 11:21 am (UTC)
I've been rewatching the series this last week, having really fallen hard for Twelve, and remembered just how much I like Doctor Who in all its (sometimes faily) glory. I thought Flatline was really fun. I like it when they play around with the TARDIS.

It appears Clara is definitely in the Christmas Special, so I think her story trajectory hasn't quite hit its payoff yet. I'm looking forward to seeing what Moff will do, even if it's only getting her a happier ending of some sort. Given it's Christmas, it's probably going to be upbeat in some way. Did you see the Children in Need clip? Obviously something weird going on, and I'm not just talking about Father Christmas and his elves :-D

I rewatched Name/Time/Day of the Doctor yesterday, more or less back to back, and I'd forgotten how good they were. Also, seeing Very Old Eleven kind of made a lot more sense of Clara's initial reaction to Twelve been 'old' despite having seen the old not!Doctor/War Doctor. Despite the fact that she saw him briefly 'young' again, her most recent memory of him is as an old dying man who she was losing. I think her reaction to Twelve reflects an underlying pain of that, and what they went through during the final days of Eleven.

Sorry, Rambling ;-) It's been an age since I was this into Doctor Who. I'll be watching Forest shortly - mad as it was, I rather liked that one, despite the dodgy science (for the record, I do think they should be a bit less cavalier with the basic science, but then we are talking about a show which has had the Earth towed about by the Daleks and the TARDIS).
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on November 16th, 2014 12:17 pm (UTC)
I saw the trailer on YouTube and, yes, I think we've definitely got more of Clara's arc to see.
a_cubeda_cubed on November 16th, 2014 02:30 pm (UTC)
I think much of the problem with this season is that Capaldi and Moffat don't see eye to eye on either the Doctor's character or his relationship with his companions. The best doctor sequences, to my mind, are ones where the showrunner and actor have a deep shared vision of the underlying character. I think this was true for Smith (I also think on rewatching that even when he was writing Ten, Moffat was mostly already channeling Eleven a great deal). I've also mentioned before that I think Moffat is clumsy as a showrunner at putting arc points into other people's scripts.
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on November 17th, 2014 09:09 am (UTC)
I do have a strong feeling, though I'm finding hard to articulate why, that Capaldi hasn't really settled into the role and he really ought to be going strong after 13 episodes. That said, I know plenty of people who adore his Doctor so it may just be a personal thing.
a_cubeda_cubed on November 17th, 2014 10:46 am (UTC)
12 episodes. From what I can tell, the specials for the 50th used up too much prodution time so this seasons was only 12 episodes.
I read the Wikipedia article on season 8 today and was really surprised to find that apart from "Kill the Moon" which has "mixed reviews", this season is "highly regarded by critics" and viewed as a strong seasona and a return to classic form.
Not my evaluation, or yours it seems.